Japanese media concerned that as China is strengthening the prevention and control of solid waste pollution, imports are reduced, Japan’s waste paper began to become nowhere to go. However, Japan’s attempts to open up markets and export to Southeast Asia have not been easy. Japanese media believe that Japan’s export-based resource cycle is ushering in an inflection point.
Japan’s domestic waste paper wholesalers and paper companies, such as waste corrugated cardboard (waste cardboard) and other total inventory capacity is believed to be at 1.45 million tons, according to the waste paper wholesaler executives said, “the current inventory is close to 90%.” The total volume of corrugated cardboard in the Kanto paper raw materials direct-to-commercial group, made up of waste paper wholesalers in the Kanto region, reached 33,000 tons as of September, expanding to nearly three times as much as in 2018.
“There is no place to put”, Tokyo waste paper wholesaler Marohara paper Shintian business will be corrugated cardboard and other waste paper compressed into bundles, a ton of weight, now has a backlog of 3000 bundles, is 6 times the general. The warehouse has been unable to put down and has been stacked outdoors since May. This is the first time this has happened since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
According to the report, the biggest reason for this is that China in June 2018 proposed to achieve the goal of zero imports of solid waste by 2020 and began to reduce imports.
Data show that in 2018, Japan’s waste paper exports of 3.8 million tons, of which 2.74 million tons to China, accounting for more than 70%. According to statistics from the Japan Paleo-Paper Regeneration Promotion Center, 13% of the total recycling of waste paper in Japan is absorbed by China.
Reported that since around 2000, Japan’s waste paper has been recycled more than the domestic reuse situation. Japan maintains a recycling mechanism by exporting domestic waste paper abroad.
At present, Japanese paper companies buy waste paper at a price higher than the export price to support the recycling system. However, the paper industry specializing in the industry executives said, “if the export situation continues to be depressed, domestic paper companies cut the purchase price, waste paper recycling system may collapse.”
Japan’s waste paper wholesalers and trade unions will step up efforts to expand into export destinations outside China, such as Southeast Asia, the Japan Economic News website notes. But Indonesia, like China, has tightened environmental restrictions, and there is uncertainty about whether Japan can increase exports of waste paper.
In addition, export prices have continued to fall. In the autumn of 2018, when exports were good, the price of waste paper, which once reached more than 30 yen (100 yen or about 6.4 yuan), fell to about 5 yen. Exports had to be exported at a loss in order to cut domestic inventories. Kanto paper raw materials directly to the commercial industry portfolio also because of losses, for 6 consecutive months suspended waste paper exports.
The report also pointed out that in Japan, with the popularity of online shopping, the demand for cartons for distribution increased, but mainly used to install fruits and vegetables and beverages. This demand alone cannot digest excess waste paper. At present, the demand for cartons for products such as packaging and transportation of auto parts has also decreased significantly, reducing the number of waste paper stocks in Japan.
In addition, japan’s fruit and vegetable shipments have stalled due to a series of disasters such as Typhoon No. 19, and demand for raw paper for cartons has slowed. On the one hand, importing fruits and vegetables from other countries to make up for the shortage of domestic supply in Japan has made cartons made overseas also become waste paper, resulting in more and more waste paper.
The report also said that the price of scrap cardboard from the beginning of the year fell by more than 40%, to about 6.5 yen per kilogram. As profitability worsens, some companies are starting to stop recycling. As a result of falling prices, recycling bonuses in some parts of Japan have been reduced, and residents have stopped collecting them collectively. Waste paper wholesalers are wary that “if waste paper is thrown away as garbage, the cost of waste disposal in autonomous areas will increase further”.